Ingenuity, the helicopter that arrived on the Red Planet on the Mars Perseverance rover, has made nine flights on Mars. Ingenuity’s historic achievement is the first powered helicopter flight on a terrestrial body other than Earth.

According to Håvard F. Grip, Ingenuity Chief Pilot, and Ken Williford, Perseverance Deputy Project Scientist, Flight 9, which occurred in July 2021, was unlike the flights that came before it. It broke our records for flight duration and cruise speed, and it nearly quadrupled the distance flown between two airfields. But what really set the flight apart was the terrain that Ingenuity had to negotiate during its 2 minutes and 46 seconds in the air – an area called “Séítah” that would be difficult to traverse with a ground vehicle like the Perseverance rover. This flight was also explicitly designed to have science value by providing the first close view of major science targets that the rover will not reach for quite some time.

But the Mars Perseverance team didn’t do it alone. A team of helicopter experts from our Ames Research Center in California assisted the Ingenuity team in making sure the technology demonstrator had the best chance for success in flying in the super thin atmosphere of the Red Planet. Learn more.

This image was captured by Mars Perseverance rover using its Left Mastcam-Z Camera, composed of a pair of cameras located high on the rover’s mast, on Jun. 15, 2021 (Sol 114).

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU


根据机智号首席飞行员Håvard F. Grip和毅力号副项目科学家Ken Williford的说法,2021年7月进行的第9次飞行与之前的飞行不同。它打破了我们在飞行时间和巡航速度方面的记录,并使两个机场之间的飞行距离几乎翻了四倍。但是,真正使这次飞行与众不同的是机智号在空中2分46秒的时间里必须要经过的地形——一个被称为 Séítah的地区,用像毅力号这样的地面车辆很难穿越。这次飞行也被明确设计为具有科学价值,因为它提供了对主要科学目标的第一次近距离观察,而火星车将在相当长的一段时间内无法到达这些目标。




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